From the Daily News:
The Environmental Protection Agency might scrap a 30-year-old safety standard because it's likely too expensive to enforce in schools, the News has learned.
Just months after the agency ordered the city education department to study the risk of toxin exposure to students, the EPA has scheduled a hearing to change the amount of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) allowed in caulking.
PCBs, known to cause cancer and birth defects, were routinely used in caulking before they were banned for most uses in 1979. Since then, anything with more than 50 parts-per-million has been considered toxic.
A 2008 News investigation found PCB levels as high as 225,000 ppm in the caulk of several public schools. The city's own tests have since found levels more than twice that high.
The EPA is now seeking comment at a May 4 hearing on changing that standard "given the recent realization that the use of PCBs in caulk may be widespread and may be an undue burden for schools if the exclusion continues at 50 ppm," according to the April 7 Federal Register.